Parkite starts up legal wine club in Utah
Wine lovers are no longer in a vintner’s desert. A new wine club will ship to local consumers without breaking the law.
A boutique wine broker based in Park City called Vin 7000 has given wine lovers reason to celebrate. Through the brokerage, it’s now possible for people to buy wine out of state and ship to a local liquor store for pick up.
Maggie Heile is the founder and general manager of Vin 7000. She says many people who love wine haven’t been able to participate in wine clubs because of state laws.
“The biggest restriction to date has been direct to home delivery," Heile said. "And so when a Utahn goes out to wine country, discovers a winery they really love and want to join the wine club, most wine clubs today, the shipments go direct to your home. And we can't do that here in Utah.”
Heile says the demand for a wine club is so large, she figured out how to work around current laws. The customer pays for the wine when they pick it up at the liquor store. The price includes state tax.
“And so we really just got innovative with some of the systems that exist through the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage services to create a way to do a wine club and have it shipped to whatever liquor store that consumer typically shops at," she said. "Most Utahns who want to join a wine club are likely shopping at the liquor store anyway.”
Heile says that Vin 7000 works with wine clubs who coordinate with small production, boutique family wineries from around the world. There are six wine clubs in Vin 7000’s portfolio.
“I think our business model makes it easier for us to do wine clubs than maybe some other bigger brokerages in the state," she said. "We're small. We work with wineries that are small. And so there's a lot of customization and you know, there's a lot of work behind the scenes to make this happen.”
Heile says many wine lovers are shocked by the high prices in Utah for individual bottles in the liquor stores. With the wine club, she says the prices are more reasonable than people might expect.
"Since we represent all small production, little family wineries, Utah pricing, surprising to many people, is actually lower than anywhere else in the country," she said. "That includes direct from the wineries because the state of Utah takes a significantly lower markup on small producers.”
Currently there are clubs available through Vin 7000 with vineyards ranging from Napa to Bourdeaux with various price points and varietals.